Call for Humanoids group PhD position

The group of Humanoid and Cognitive Robotics coordinated by Dr Matej Hoffmann opens a PhD position in the humanoid, cognitive, neuro-, and collaborative robotics research.

The topics are in the context of the newly starting 5-year project entitled “Whole-body awareness for safe and natural interaction: from brains to collaborative robots” for excellence in fundamental research from the Czech Science Foundation and include:

  • Employing humanoid robots with artificial skin to construct embodied computational models of body and peripersonal space representations
  • Neural network models of multisensory integration and peripersonal space
  • Physical human-robot interaction with special focus on tactile and proximity sensing
  • Social human-robot interaction focusing on touch and interpersonal distance

    The topic will be co-defined with the student depending on his skills and interests.
    The standard duration of the PhD study is 4 years.
    The funding corresponds to a gross salary of CZK 40 000 per month (approx. 1600 EUR), plus direct bonuses for scientific achievements such as top-tier publications.

    Robots and infrastructure
    The humanoids group has at its disposal several humanoid robots (iCub – procurement being finalized, 2 Naos – 1 with whole-body sensitive skin) and collaborative or lightweight manipulators (KUKA LBR iiwa, UR10e with Airskin, Kinova Gen3). Additional infrastructure includes several robot hands (Barrett Hand BH8-282, QB Soft Hand) and grippers, a 3D Motion Capture System, Impact measuring devices (GTE), and integrated devices for collaborative robots ( The group has also access to the facilities of the Research Center for Informatics such as a high-performance computational cluster.

    International collaborations
    There is a large group of international experts who have agreed to act as collaborators/advisors on the project. These include experts in
    – developmental psychology: Dr. Kevin O’Regan (CNRS, Paris), Prof. Jeffrey J. Lockman (Tulane University, New Orleans)
    – cognitive psychology and neuroscience: Prof. Matthew Longo (Birkbeck University, London), Prof. Tobias Heed (Bielefeld), Prof. Andrea Serino (University of Lausanne), Dr. Jean-Paul Noel (Center for Neural Science at New York University), Drs. M.Gori and Giulia Cappagli (Italian Institute of Technology, Dr. S. Signorini (IRCSS Fondazione Mondino Pavia)
    – physical human-robot interaction: Prof. Sami Haddadin (TU Munich), Dr. Arash Ajoudani (Italian Institute of Technology), Dr. Michael Zillich (Blue Danube Robotics – manufacturer of Airskin)
    – social human-robot interaction: Dr. Alessandra Sciutti (Italian Institute of Technology), Dr. Hagen Lehmann (University of Macerata)

    How to apply. The application should include:

  • Motivation letter (max. 1 page)
  • CV (including 2 reference persons)
  • 1 Letter of recommendation (can be from 1 of the reference persons above)

    Please send the applications or inquiries to with (“[PhD] application” in the subject). The positions are open until filled.

    Photo Credits: Duilio Farina, Italian Institute of Technology

  • Responsible person: Petra Rosická